When Children Move Far Away
When They Go
When I was raising my four children I felt that I was living my destiny. Ever since I was a little girl all I wanted was to be someone's Mom. I was the type of girl who was still tucking my dolls in at night when I was thirteen, even though I had ceased to play with them. I worried that they would be cold although I knew they were not flesh and blood.
When my eldest son was born I was two days past my twentieth birthday. I knew absolutely nothing about babies except one thing, I was desperately in love with that tiny creature and something inside of my soul sighed and said "this is what you were made for." I know it doesn't sound noble and grand but it meant the world to me to be privileged to be someone's Mom. As the years went by and I had three more children I only felt blessed, never burdened in spite of the many difficult times. Laughter outweighed tears and the years flew by. One by one they left home and boy did they! Our second son fell in love with a British girl and moved to England to marry her. The day he left he, his father and I cried the whole day. I have never hated an airport so much, even when they lost my luggage. I felt that a piece of me was missing for the longest time. Then my eldest son moved to a city that is a six hour drive from us. He too married and settled there. Next our youngest daughter fell in love with a young man from the East Coast, three provinces away. Devastation again when she married him and settled there instead of here. Finally our third child left to teach in Asia for a year, came home for a few months and then moved to England as well in order to teach. More tears.
Recently my cousin, whose children also live a far distance said we should be proud that we have raised such independent kids. I suppose she is right, but all I know is I miss them all. However, I realize that I need to make some lemonade with these lemons life has handed me. My husband and I, having been married very young and starting a family right away are now just rediscovering each other. The dust has settled, the tears have been dried for now and it's kind of nice to get to know my partner all over again. I am also at the age where I am completely comfortable with who I am and feel that life has many fewer demands on me and that I am under little obligation to meet most of them. That is refreshing.
Yes it is hard to have my children so far away, especially now that the grandchildren are arriving at a rapid pace. Four in two years. But I think of the joyous Christmas we will have this year when everyone comes home for ten days. We will go from two and a dog in our house to thirteen and a dog. It will be chaotic and challenging but I know that I will have a smile on my face for ten days straight. On the eleventh I will be crying unabashadly. By New Year's Day life will be back to normal and I will be looking forward to the next visit.
Sometimes I wonder why God gave me such a desire for motherhood and not much of a desire for anything else only to have things turn out as they have. It doesn't seem fair. However I am proud of my children, and happy that we can all get together and have a good time and I'm sure those times are most precious for all of us. I cherish my memories of their childhood all the more and still pray daily that at least one of them might decide to relocate closer to us. If that doesn't happen I will be content with Skype, a real blessing in my life. I keep healthy and fit so that I can travel with ease and visit my family as often as possible. I maintain good relationships with my daughters -in-law and son-in-law so that they never mind me showing up (I think), nor do they mind visiting us. I appreciate all the times I get to spend with my children, even as I did when they were young. One cannot predict how life will turn out, so even as I often lament I am grateful that each one of them is alive and well somewhere in this world.